Patriarchal Haircut Privileges

I’m as angry as all hell. And extremely grumpy.

Why can’t men make appointments at the hairdresser?

Why do I care?  I’ll tell you why. Whenever I go to the hairdresser I have to wait 15 minutes while some bloke – clearly a walk-in – has walked into the hairdresser and asked to be slotted in.

Hairdressers rarely say no to men, as they know men won’t go away for a spot of shopping and return later. Men think haircuts are like beers. You go to the counter, order, receive, drink and go.

No, no, no, fellas. Haircuts are like first dates. You spend a lot of time thinking about colour, style, the exact best moment, you ring up and you ask properly. Then you turn up on time and make nice conversation with someone you have nothing in common with. As I say, first date.

You certainly don’t just turn up. I wouldn’t care but this casual attitude means I am inconvenienced by male inability to plan. You might say the hairdresser shouldn’t slot them in but hey, people aren’t going to turn down a job. There’s mortgages to pay, chardonnay to buy. C’mon, this is capitalism.

But if I was dictator for a day I would decree no walk ins. And if there is a walk in, then the walk in has to pay for the haircut of the person (that would be me) who he (always a he) has inconvenienced. Problem solved, everyone’s hair is cut, everyone (particularly me) is happy and 5,000 years of patriarchal haircut privileges waived. Bring it on.


Men – the advertiser’s lost continent

The other day in the supermarket I came across men’s bread. Men’s bread? Yes, you heard right. This men’s bread has selenium and zinc infused through its fluffy white core to meet men’s special dietary needs. What, so now men have needs? I mean, really.

Advertisers have only recently discovered Planet Bloke. While they were busy making women feel inadequate, messed-up and deeply dysfunctional by inventing new products to meet women’s special needs – we’re talking breads, sunscreens, milk, breakfast cereals and chocolate – men have been happily ploughing on, oblivious that they are in desperate need of their own special products. Now that advertisers have screwed up women – hello boys! It must be the advertising equivalent of discovering the new world – half the world’s population, ripe for exploitation.

Enter men’s cosmetics, bread, breakfast cereal and milk. After that who knows? Will it be toilet paper, special male-order vegemite, bloke blocks of cheese and male mixed fruits and nuts?

Why should I care? If advertisers are now messing with men’s heads, making them insecure, self-doubting and confused, that’s got to balance  the books a little, don’t you think? Men who think before they buy and take an interest in their own health, what’s not to like? 

So why does it leave a yukky taste?

Undies v. Panties

Undies, knickers, these are words I can deal with. But panties … I don’t think so! So, I know that’s what they call them in America, but well what can you expect from people with fanny packs and want you to know that they’re rooting for you.

But back to panties – for people in Australia, specifically men and people who write  for the underwear section of Myer brochures – the word is undies or, at a pinch (no pun intended), knickers.

The logic is simple. Women call their undies undies, not panties. With the exception of Britney Spears or say any WAG at the Alan Border medal – no one calls undies panties. Panties just sounds uh, sleazy, with shades of phone sex meets Tiger Woods does rehab. So, why do men insist on calling them panties?

Is it to differentiate from their own undies? Coz if that’s the case, let’s just be clear, our undies bear no relation to the cruddy with elastic dating from the Gutenberg Press with a crotch olfactory aura that can could power a Tasmanian electricity substation. Guys – there’s a difference here between yours and ours.  Or do they for some wierd male brain reason just like the word panties?  Panties sounds like something hot, steamy and ready to pounce whereas undies is well, just sounds like undies. But if it’s just the word that gets them going, well why don’t we make a brand new word altogether? Preferably a word that can’t be pronounced by Britney Spears.

We all know that men like to think they have a handle on lingerie, maybe that’s why they want to claim ownership of panties. But the reality is that they know about as much about lingerie as they do about asking for directions or wedge platforms. Or is it that men like annoying women (surely that can’t be right, Barry????) by saying panties, when clearly they’re undies?

Whatever it is I don’t understand it. But men of Australia – they’re undies, not panties, and if you try anything else, well then you can just knick off and take your panties with you.

Men in the kitchen

What is it about men when they’re in the kitchen that they think they are in the final round of Masterchef, performing untold culinary feats? Even if they are making curried snag casserole, they seem to expect a reverence and praise that on par with an Iron Chef winner.

In keeping with Iron Chef, have you noticed they also tend to keep a running commentary going. Like for instance: Just putting the pastry on the mince now, tearing off a piece of grease proof paper, putting on base of baking tray. Then they get into some sort of wierd combat role play. Maybe channeling a surreal mixture of Bruce Willis and Jamie Oliver, with a dash of old-school Arnie thrown in. Oven – On; sausage rolls In. Oven – 200 degrees – I’ll be back.

Yes, that’s right, they’re out of here. Kitchen resembles First Blood – mounds of grease proof paper everywhere, the benches and floor peppered with flour, excess mince strewn across the bench and recipe book (not that he used it – this is a man after all), with a nice splat of butter and wine on it.

But hey, he’s still a hero because – HE COOKED!  And when the masterpiece emerges from the oven, deep freeze, microwave or jaffle maker, Masterchef Husband is rapt, and expects praise for his chicken stir fry commensurate with winning Masterchef at least, but more like creating world peace or discovering another planet.

And people treat the male chef as though he is some kind of reconstructed genius. So what that his pork medallions taste like an alien turd burger. So what that his chocolate mud cake is like crunching house bricks. He is a man and he cooks!

And us girls, I hate to say are the worst. I could take into my mostly female office a sample of my husband’s more indigestible offerings and they would practically drool at the site of misshapen waffles the consistency of a bathroom tile, and say isn’t he clever!

Well, maybe he is. Anyone who gets to use the kitchen without tidying up isn’t as silly as they let on.